Our Story

Rancho Maria is a small family owned and operated vineyard tucked away on a fertile hillside in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley. Owners Monte & Stella Hansen have transformed this rugged hillside into a beautiful lush garden that’s enriched with fruit orchards, vegetable beds, and colorful flowers.

This Ranch was first purchased and developed into a vineyard in 1902 by Angelo Lencioni. Five years later, he built his own winery and began producing some of the finest wines in Sonoma County. Now, more than a century later, Rancho Maria Family Vineyards is proud to continue the tradition that Mr. Lencioni established when he planted grapes in this fertile corner of the Dry Creek Valley.

Wine is one of the oldest traditions in human history. The Rancho Maria Family is proud to be apart of such a time-honored tradition. Family, Friends, and Food are things we love most. The vineyard is our passion and wine is our bounty. Today, this outstanding little vineyard continues to yield classic Dry Creek Valley grapes: fruit-forward, sumptuous, and layered with velvet textures & flavors.

The Family

Growers

Monte Hansen has lived a life of adventure, in the US Marines, as a sheriff in Sonoma County, then a prosecutor and now, as a defense attorney. His roots go back to a simple little farm in Minnesota, where he was born and raised. As a boy, he spent his days working hard on the family farm.  As a sheriff he spent his working days driving through rolling hills and back roads of Petaluma, Dry Creek and Alexander valley. After spending years patrolling Sonoma County, Monte decided to purchase a little ranch on the slopes of Dry Creek, where he lives with his wife, Stella. He tried raising cattle and  horses, but soon realized that he could be getting much more out of the land.

When Monte decided it was time to try his hand at growing grapes, he spent countless hours researching and gathering resources. He settled on St. George rootstock, which is drought and disease resistant. He first planted Merlot which was very popular at the time. After several years of successful Merlot harvest’s, Monte decided he could not stand the taste of Merlot. Pinot Noir had become the premier grape in the Russian River Valley and Merlot began to take a big dive. Monte looked to the past for a solution, Mr. Lencioni had great success with Zinfandel and most of the valley was already planted with “old vine zin”. So, in the early 80’s Monte cut the heads off his Merlot vines and grafted on Zinfandel clones, but not just any old clone would do. It just so happens that Rancho Maria is situated right next to the famous Maple vineyard. Tom and Tina Maple are renowned growers in the Dry Creek Valley, known for their outstanding old vine Zinfandel and exceptional Petite Sirah. So, when Monte Hansen decided to grow Zin, he knew right where to look, his own backyard. The rest as they say, is history. MapleZin